Banbridge Battalions

The connections between the 36th (Ulster) Division and the Ulster Volunteers are commemorated in Seapatrick: on the left is the YCV shamrock – the 14th battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles was the YCV battalion; on the right, with the digits “1912” is the West Down regiment, 1st battalion (Banbridge) of the Ulster Volunteers, but we also have the years “1914 – 1918” – in September 1914 men from Banbridge (presumably including Seapatrick) joined D Company of 13th (Service) Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles (1st County Down Volunteers) and part of the 108th Brigade of the 36th Ulster Division) (Bygone Days).

Seapatrick Road, Seapatrick (near Banbridge), Co Down

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney

History Girl

Memories from the History Girl mural in east Belfast’s Thistle Court. (By Lesley Cherry, and with support from the Housing Executive.)

  • We used to go to Church Street East Disco … It was brilliant. Dee Street Disco in the Community Centre was good too.
  • Geary’s and The Tab sold all the electrical goods. The TV rent man came on a Friday. We sometimes didn’t answer the door!
  • I loved Nabney’s, Burkes and Nellie Stewarts. Dora Burnes was a good wee shop too.
  • There was a swimming pool in Victoria Park that opened in the summer. It was always freezing though!
  • I used to buy a bag of broken biscuits and and damaged fruit as a treat, when I went to the cinema.
  • We used to get our hair cut in Sammy Sanford’s.
  • The Road was always busy – shops and bars all the way along.
  • Barlow’s hardware at the Conswater Bridge used to have all the plates and cups outside in crates for you to buy.
  • I drank in the Con Club. It was great – they didn’t let women in!
  • I came from Singapore to live here with my husband. He died and I went home, but had to come back to Belfast. I missed it too much … it’s my home now.
  • My granny had a bathroom. I thought that was great. Our toilet was in the yard …
  • I worked in the Ropeworks and love it … the craic was great.
  • I loved Joe Bump’s chippy – the pasties were great.
  • If you were late for work at the Ropeworks they locked the door and you lost your pay. Hardly anyone was ever late.
  • My grandpa took me to the shipyard and swung me on a crane in one of the workshops. My mummy was raging when she found out!
  • We used to play Kick the Tin … there were sometimes 30 of us all playing together …
  • I loved the smell of Inglis’ Biscuit Factory along the Road.
  • The was The Vulcan, The Ulster Arms, The Four and Twenty, The Clock Bar and The Armagh House. Hastings, who own all the hotels now, used to own a good lot of the bars on the Road.
  • I remember seeing a ship being launched in the yard. It was about 1976 and all the ones from Mersey Street School went. I met my daddy in the crowd of thousands.
  • You got your good shoes in Irvine’s and your gutties in Warwick’s. It’s still there.
  • My granny kept her milk in a bucket of water because she had no fridge.
  • I worked in the shipyard – left school on a Friday and started in the Yard on Monday.
  • Everyone had a net bag made in the Ropeworks. You don’t see them nowadays.
  • We followed the Glens everywhere, but a home match in the Oval was always the best craic.
  • All my mummy’s brothers were in the Army or Navy during the War … they all came back.
  • I remember Stanley Brookes. They cashed your Providence Cheques.
  • We used to go to the cinema on a Saturday morning for the Kids Club. It was always bunged!!

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney

Ship Of Dreams

“Built in Belfast”. The White Star Line ship Titanic sank in the Atlantic in the early morning of April 15th, 1912, a thousand miles from New York (the co-ordinates are given in the top right), having been launched from Belfast’s Harland & Wolff shipyard, which is near this mural just off the Newtownards Road in east Belfast. The portraits are of Captain Edward Smith, architect Thomas Andrews, Jack Phillips (wireless officer), and paperboy Ned Parfett.

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney

State Sponsored Killings

“This mural is dedicated to the memory of those killed and maimed by rubber & plastic bullets fired by the police & British Army. Not one member of the security forces ever served a day in jail for the deaths, many of them children, despite the courts ruling on the innocence of the victims. Plastic bullets are still being used on the streets of the north of Ireland today.”

The memorial to seventeen people killed by rubber or plastic bullets since 1970 is at the centre of 13 panels of portraits, in a wall “dedicated to the families who have fought and are still fighting for truth and justice for their loved ones. It is also dedicated to all those who have died as a result of state-sponsored killings. This Project is a work in progress and is not conclusive. If you wish a loved one to be included please contact An Fhírinne … Tá an balla seo tiomnaithe do na teaghlaigh a throid agus atá ag troid go fóill, thar ceann a muintire ionúine, ar son na fírinne agus na córa. Tá sé tiomnaithe fosta dóibh siúd uilig a fuair bás de dheasca maruithe státurraithe. Obair idir lamha atá sa tionscnamh seo agus níl sé críochnaithe go fóill. Dá mba mhian leat duine de do mhuintir ionúin féin a bheith curtha san áireamh, iarrtar ort teagmháil a dhéanamh leis An Fhírinne.”

Beechmount Avenue/Ascaill Ard na bhFeá, Belfast

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney

A Four-Letter Word

Two sides of the same board, in the front yard of Connolly House (Sinn Féin headquarters on the Andersonstown Road). Top, “sometimes it takes a 4-letter word to be heard … vótáil Sinn Féin” with four moments of protest – votes for women, Civil Rights, Sands’s election, Sands. Bottom, 95th anniversary Easter Rising commemoration with (1981 hunger striker) Pat Sheehan as the main speaker.

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney